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Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day:
A Time for Service and Reflection

CNN asked its users:
What would Dr. King think of the state of Civil Rights in America
if he were alive today?




Martin Luther King would stand on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial at the Million Man March and, perhaps for the first time in his life, feel out of place. King, today, would be an anachronism. We live in a society of violence, of desperation, of terrible race relations with even worse prospects. America will be a country of divided people, of Black people living apart from Whites, of Hispanics living apart from Jews, of Orientals living apart from Muslims. King's words would echo dimly in the Hall of Brotherhood and no one would be there to listen.



I am not a regular reader of your informations but for the Martin Luther King's Memorial Day I hoped to read more information about his life and how he had become what he was. Your informations are fine but I think a little bit too superficial. Why don't you give cross addresses to find more details on another Internet adress?



I think Martin Luther King was one of the greatest people of his time and I think it is great that so many people remember wat he stood for.



I believe Martin Luther King would be pleased of where we are, but disappointed by the slow pace of acceptance. Our nation has become a better land of opportunity of all. Colin Powell is an excellent example of how African-Americans are an integral part of our society. More needs to be done to extend educational opportunities to all people, regardless of race or economic status. Most of all, I believe Martin Luther King would say that we need a unified nation, not a nation splintered by special interests.



I think that Dr. Martin Luther King would be pleased and disheartened at the state of civil rights in our country today. Pleased because of the milestones achieved since his day and disheartened in what some have done (or not done) with the rights given them by the people (black & white) backing Dr. King during the civil rights movement.



On this memorable day, the day that marks the birth of one of our country's most patriotic, most religious, most courageous citizens, I have found myself quite disturbed. I felt it necessary, In remembering Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., to read and consider some of his words. In the act of doing this I have come to the conclusion that Dr. Kings' Dream, at this point in time, and under these current conditions does not exist in America.

I often wonder what Dr. King must be feeling, as he looks down upon our cities and upon our children. Instead of brotherhood, justice, integration and love, he sees separatism, hatred, senseless violence, and death. Where did we go wrong? When, where, and why did Dr. Kings' (indeed, Americas') dream shrivel up and fade away, like an unformed bud in an early autumn frost? I have often considered how we might pick up where he left off.

I do not have an answer. I do feel, however, that we may be fighting a different enemy than during the days of the civil rights struggle. Instead of separatist laws and the legal persecution of the black populace, we are now fighting drugs, violence, and a rebirth of white supremacist philosophy (as well as what appears to be a black supremacist philosophy). In each city, town, school, and courtroom, we find senseless acts of racist behavior, on the part of both black and white people. These acts are fueled by drugs, money, gangs, and a separatist mentality. Nowhere are black and white, white and white, or black and black forces united to speak out agianst these atrocities. In the instances where we do find unification, we also seem to find the exclusion of other forces. This was the case in the Million Man March in October, which excluded women of all races, and men of every race other than black (if I understood correctly).

It seems that in this era of "violent chaos", as Dr. King prophesized, we have regressed to a people separated and living in fear of ourselves and each other while pointing our fingers at everyone and everything other than ourselves. The relations between all races will not improve if we continue to refuse to work together, and to work hard. The example of Dr. Kings' life and words demonstrates what extreme sacrifices must be made to finally achieve true equality.

This holiday should not be a day which is used to remember that such a man once lived, no more tangent to our own lives than a god-like character from an ancient greek myth, but instead, it should be used each year to check our own progress in the struggle for brotherhood and peace. A day which his life and words are used as a battlecry or basis for serious discussion between peoples of all ethinic origins. Above all, Martin Luther Kings' birthday should be used as a day when all men and women consider there own contributions to this fight, examples which are observed and duplicated by our children.